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TOYOTA Gazoo Racing WRT

Team Profile

Team Summary

Info

Based:  JPN
Established: 2016
Principal: Tommi Mäkinen
Drivers: Juho Hänninen, Jari-Matti Latvala, Esapekka Lappi
Tyres: Michelin

Essential information

A new entrant to the championship in 2017, the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT represents the long-awaited WRC comeback for Toyota - a name synonymous with rallying success in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Japanese brand can trace its rally roots back to 1957 when it entered the Mobilgas Round Australia Rally. But it was 1975 when Toyota really made its mark, when Hannu Mikkola won Finlands 1000 Lakes Rally at the wheel of a factory-backed Corolla.

Toyota established a motorsport base in Cologne, Germany, and went on to claim more WRC victories, including three consecutive Safari Rally wins.

In 1990, Toyota had its first WRC champion driver in Carlos Sainz, and in 1993 it became the first Japanese brand to win the WRC manufacturers´ title. By the end of its factory-backed activities in 1999, Toyota had collected three manufacturers titles, (in 1993, 1994 and 1999) and four drivers´ titles (two for Sainz and one each for Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol).

Toyotas return was confirmed in January 2015 by the companys president, and passionate rally enthusiast, Akio Toyoda.

Toyota established a new team base in Finland, and put former world champion Tommi Mäkinen, in charge of developing a Yaris-based car ready for a competitive return in 2017.

Mäkinen did much of the car testing himself, but also brought in Finnish talent Juho Hänninen and Mikko Hirvonen to pile on the kilometres as launch date neared.

Hänninen was named as one of the 2017-season drivers, and WRC 2 graduate Esapekka Lappi looked favourite for the second seat until Jari-Matti Latvala, unexpectedly released from his VW contract, parachuted in at the eleventh hour.

Now back in the WRC after a break of 17 years, the team has set itself modest expectations for its maiden season - prioritising car development and learning over outright results.





A new entrant to the championship in 2017, the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT represents the long-awaited WRC comeback for Toyota - a name synonymous with rallying success in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Japanese brand can trace its rally roots back to 1957 when it entered the Mobilgas Round Australia Rally. But it was 1975 when Toyota really made its mark, when Hannu Mikkola won Finlands 1000 Lakes Rally at the wheel of a factory-backed Corolla.

Toyota established a motorsport base in Cologne, Germany, and went on to claim more WRC victories, including three consecutive Safari Rally wins.

In 1990, Toyota had its first WRC champion driver in Carlos Sainz, and in 1993 it became the first Japanese brand to win the WRC manufacturers´ title. By the end of its factory-backed activities in 1999, Toyota had collected three manufacturers titles, (in 1993, 1994 and 1999) and four drivers´ titles (two for Sainz and one each for Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol).

Toyotas return was confirmed in January 2015 by the companys president, and passionate rally enthusiast, Akio Toyoda.

Toyota established a new team base in Finland, and put former world champion Tommi Mäkinen, in charge of developing a Yaris-based car ready for a competitive return in 2017.

Mäkinen did much of the car testing himself, but also brought in Finnish talent Juho Hänninen and Mikko Hirvonen to pile on the kilometres as launch date neared.

Hänninen was named as one of the 2017-season drivers, and WRC 2 graduate Esapekka Lappi looked favourite for the second seat until Jari-Matti Latvala, unexpectedly released from his VW contract, parachuted in at the eleventh hour.

Now back in the WRC after a break of 17 years, the team has set itself modest expectations for its maiden season - prioritising car development and learning over outright results.



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